Look at most people’s bank accounts and there will be a £5 monthly payment to a charity they may or may not care too much about.
It may well be that this was a conscious decision to support a cause dear to their heart, but more often it is because they have fallen for the doughy eyes or beaming smile of a street fund-raiser.
It can be hard to resist. You leave Marks & Spencer having bought a new pair of shoes and before you can make it to Greggs for your newly-taxed pasty you are greeted with a charity representative complete with a guilt trip about a cause that may need that £30 more than your feet do.
Walk through any town or city in the region and it will not take too long before you have such an encounter – and the reason is that it works.
For that reason, there seems to have been an increase in the proliferation of such workers and indeed complaints about the intrusion have led to action in Gloucester and Burnley in the past month.
However, while the marketplace is growing few changes to regulations have been introduced to go alongside this.
These fund-raisers, or “chuggers” as they have become known, specialise in pulling on heartstrings and gaining access to bank accounts.
However, because these people can reportedly be paid bonuses of up to £136 to secure new direct debits for charities, it can take years to actually see a return on this transaction – if it ever does.
While many people may become long-term partners for the cause at hand, many more will eventually cancel if their decision was more down to pressure than a desire to help.